Pine tar for soap January 21 2014

One of the more unusual soaps in my inventory is my pine tar soap!  Pine tar soap isn't really all the unusual.  It's been around for generations as a way to take care of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.  However, it should be pointed out that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve the use of pine tar soap in the treatment of these skin conditions.  But sometimes those old home remedies really do work! 

 

Handmade pine tar soap is a long process that takes weeks to come to fruition.  It's also difficult to make because when you add the lye solution to the oils and pine tar mixture you get soap on a stick if you're not careful!   To speed the process along and avoid the soap on a stick problem I make my pine tar soap the Hot process way! 

With hot process soaping we begin by melting the oils and the pine tar in the crock pot.  Not much different than the cold process way except we are focusing on the use of the crock pot!  

While the oils are melting the frozen goats milk cubes are mixed with the lye.  Same technique as cold process!  I use frozen goats milk because the addition of the lye causes the milk to heat up and if it's not cold the lye will cause the milk to caramelize.  Not a problem with a dark soap like pine tar but using frozen milk is a habit I've developed with cold process so I continue to do so for all my soaps.  

Mix I mixed the milk/lye solution with the oils/pine tar solution.  As you can see it quickly becomes a thick mass!  We lovingly refer to this as soap on a stick!  Mixing is just about impossible at this stage.  In the world of cold process soap you would mix as best as possible and then try to plop it in the mold and pray it really is mixed well.  I never like crossing my fingers and hoping something works so this is why I enjoy the hot process method for this particular soap.  At this point I put the lid on the crock pot and left it alone for 15 mins on Low.  

Wow, what a difference 15 mins makes!  The mixture has relaxed and is quite liquidy at this point.  I give every thing a good stir and put the lid back on for another 15 mins.  I will continue to "cook" my soap mixture until it gets thick and gel like in color, stopping to stir it every 15 mins.  

Here it is at 45 mins, note the color change as well as the consistency change.  It's now ready to be molded!

Looks a lot like brownies, doesn't it?  I leave it in the mold until it cools and then it is ready for slicing into bars.  

Gorgeous!  And ready to cure!  You don't have to have skin problems to love this soap!  Gentle on your skin, scented with lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and fir essential oils makes this soap delightful!  Be udderly beautiful!